green light goThe June joblessness numbers continue to confirm predictions of economists: unemployment will likely remain above eight percent for the next few years. The economy added only 80,000 jobs last month, keeping unemployment at 8.2 percent, but the bleak numbers were accompanied by a silver lining: Of the 80,000 jobs added, nearly a third (25,000) were temporary positions.

Recruiters have taken a lot of heat in the recent months for having difficulties filling vacant positions with qualified candidates. In many cases, an inability to bring in the right talent isn’t the recruiter’s fault at all; more often than not, their hands are tied by employers wanting to keep costs low in uncertain economic times.

As a recruiter, how do you appease corner cutting employers and unhappy job seekers? Follow the trend and hire temporary.

Why You Should Hire Temporary

Temporary work is a tidy solution to a very messy employment problem for both workers and recruiters. For workers, temporary work is an ideal way to build their network, acquire additional professional references, keep skills sharp and get decent pay. There’s also the added benefit of testing out a new project for workers interested in making a career change.

And for recruiters, there are a number of benefits to hiring temporary help.

1. Beef Up Staff Quickly- Predicting workload fluctuations is tricky business, especially in an economy like ours. Employers are uncomfortable increasing staff one month only to cut new workers loose the next. Temporary workers allow employers to adjust fluctuating project flow more easily and quickly.

2. Bring In Specialized Help- Projects can sometimes demand specialized skills not required for the long-term. In a situation like this, temporary workers can be more ideal than outside consulting firms. Current staff receives the benefit of being able to quickly and effectively communicate to a worker who is in-house and employers have more peace of mind knowing the worker isn’t juggling multiple projects for other clients.

3. Attract Top Talent- In this market, even the crème de la crème of workers are experiencing downsizing or are accepting early retirement packages. When the shock of unemployment subsides, many decide they want or need to continue working and use temporary positions as a strategy for re-entering the workforce.

4. You Can Try It Before You Buy It- The costs of a bad hire are devastating. Forty-one percent of employers estimate that a bad hire costs more than $25,000, while one in four say it costs them more than $50,000. Those estimates don’t include the effect one bad hire has on other employees. Hiring temporary workers gives the employer the opportunity to evaluate company fit before extending a full-time offer.

5. Appease Employers Uncertain About Health Benefits- The Supreme Court’s recent upholding of the “Employer Responsibility” provision in the health care law championed by President Obama has left many employers uneasy. The provision requires employers with 50 or more workers to offer health insurance coverage or pay fines ranging from $2,000 to $3,000 per employee per year. Temporary workers provide employers with the work they need without the hefty price tag of healthcare and other benefits.

How To Hire Temporary Workers

Hiring temporary workers is often very similar to hiring full-time staff, but there are a few key differences.

1. You Need To Get Employees On Board- Employee support is very important when hiring a full-time worker, but even more so when hiring a temporary worker. Current staff tends to be more accepting of new full-time hires than temporary workers because they know the new worker is in it for the long haul and they know the new worker won’t take their jobs. Before pursuing temporary workers, hold a meeting with staff to explain its necessity. Also explain that temporary workers will make their jobs easier overall.

2. You Need To Be Detailed- While it isn’t always their fault, recruiters are often guilty of being vague or using jargon in job descriptions. For temporary workers, ditch the buzzword-filled job description and be specific. If you don’t give your temporary workers a play-by-play description of what they’re expected to do, they can negate the pros of their being at your company in the first place.

3. You Can Get More Creative With Accepting Applicants- Recruiters are sometimes skeptical of accepting creative job applications for full-time positions. When recruiting temporary workers, feel free to throw your inhibitions about creative applications out the window!  For a temporary worker, you want a lower cost per hire because their return on investment is often lower than a full-time worker’s. Creative applications, especially video, quicken your search process and give you a glimpse into an applicant’s personality, lessening the number of interviews needed before bringing them on board.

4. You Need To Document Everything- Contracts are an extremely important component when hiring full-time employees and are arguably the most important component when hiring temporary workers. Like full-time employees, temporary workers are privy to employers’ intellectual property. However, temporary workers don’t usually feel the same sense of loyalty that full-time employees do. To protect your employer, consult an attorney to ensure the drafted contract includes a provision stating that work done by the temporary worker belongs to your company. Also document how fees incurred by an expanding project will be addressed. This will keep your temporary worker happy, and it’ll keep your employer out of a lawsuit.

Does your employer want you to recruit more temporary workers? What do you suggest other recruiters keep in mind when hiring temporary workers?

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